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Germany: Schwarz Group invest in Aleph Alpha AI

Discount Retail Chain Lidl's mother the German Schwarz Group sees that technology is fundamentally changing everyday life, society and the economy. Technical innovations play an important role in the companies of the Schwarz Group in order to further expand the company's position as one of the world's leading retail groups. Safe and sovereign AI is a key technology in this regard.

For this reason, the Schwarz Group, together with six other investors, are participating in the second round of financing of Aleph Alpha, the leading developer of artificial intelligence in Germany. The investment is intended to promote AI technology in accordance with European data protection standards and to bring it into application. The investment will help advance AI research and accelerate the development and commercialization of generative AI and large language models for complex and critical applications. This means that artificial intelligence can also be used in sensitive areas such as critical infrastructure, including along the entire value chain of the Schwarz Group.

"Artificial intelligence is ubiquitous. Researching them and using them responsibly is why we invest in Aleph Alpha. We want to build trust in this technology and integrate it even more into everyday life. Aleph Alpha's technology meets our requirement for sovereignty in line with our corporate values and is a perfect fit with our sovereign cloud and cyber security solutions. Our goal is to sustainably improve the customer experience and facilitate the workflows of our employees," explains Rolf Schumann, Co-CEO Schwarz Digits.

Great potential for AI application in the Schwarz Group – clear code of values Artificial intelligence can be used to optimize processes in all divisions and areas of the Schwarz Group, from administration and trading processes to the production of food or recycling. In addition, the technology also has the potential to enable improvements in customer experience and service.

For the companies of the Schwarz Group, it is crucial that sovereign AI is safe, fair, explainable and reliable. These values have been manifested in the jointly developed code of values, the "AI Codex" of the companies of the Schwarz Group, which is also a prerequisite for cooperation with partners. In this internal code, the companies of the Schwarz Group explain, for example, what requirements apply to the use of AI, what goals are pursued with the technology and what responsibility arises from its use.

Information on the financing round Aleph Alpha, the leader in explainable and trusted generative AI applications, has raised capital in a Series B funding round and formed key strategic partnerships to launch the next stage of its development in the global AI race. The consortium, consisting of seven new investors, is led by the Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence (Ipai), Bosch Ventures and the companies of the Schwarz Group. Other new investors include Berlin-based Christ&Company Consulting, global edge-to-cloud company Hewlett Packard Enterprise and German software company SAP, as well as investor Burda Principal Investments. Previous investors complete the round. This strategic investment will further strengthen the German and European AI position for the development of sovereign AI.


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